Nanaimo addresses budget stress by releasing senior manager

NANAIMO – Vacant position will save city $170,000 annually.

With property tax rate increases expected to rise significantly in 2014, the city manager’s office has taken a preemptive approach by trimming management staff in an effort to reduce administration costs.

Al Kenning, city manager, said Doug Holmes, general manager of corporate services and assistant city manager, will be leaving the organization.

Holmes has been with the city for seven years. He started as the general manager of corporate services before taking on assistant city manager duties three years ago.

His duties will be assumed by other senior managers, and the long-term annual savings of the downsizing is estimated at $170,000.

According to the five-year financial plan, next year’s tax rate increase is expected to spike to 4.7 per cent, which includes one per cent built in to address future infrastructure needs. The balance of the plan sees increases of at least 3.5 per cent.

“It’s my initiative to deal with budget pressures and try to face up with the reality of the financial plan, while addressing the reality that we’re on track for significant tax increases unless we make changes,” said Kenning, adding that administration must be run as lean as possible to best protect the direct services it provides to Nanaimo citizens. “This by itself won’t solve all of the problems but at least it helps us go in the right direction.”

The resulting realignment of senior city staff is expected to be released in the near future.

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